Marijuana Eyes: Exploring Weed’s Effect on Your Eyes

The glassy, red-eyed look of someone who recently used cannabis is unmistakable. Unfortunately, it’s also a bit stigmatized, perhaps due to this stereotype of the do-nothing stoner perpetuated on TV and in film. However, while frequent users typically know it’s a side effect, many everyday users don’t really know what causes it, with some mistaking it even for a side effect of smoking. So, let’s get our facts straight.

In this post, we’ll explore:

  • What the signs of marijuana eyes are
  • What makes weed eyes red
  • The bloodshot eyes causes you can address to minimize redness

What Are the Signs of Marijuana Eyes?

Often referenced in TV and film, marijuana eyes are red, bloodshot eyes. While this is a normal reaction to cannabis, it can be uncomfortable to experience it in your daily life. 

Other symptoms of “weed eyes” include reduced intraocular pressure that can cause blurry vision, dry eyes, and dilated pupils, which itself can cause photosensitivity. 

What Causes Marijuana Eyes?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not smoking that causes eye redness — it’s THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This cannabinoid in marijuana causes a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure, similar to what you experience after exercise. It causes a blood pressure drop, during which your blood vessels and capillaries dilate to allow more blood flow. This, of course, happens very noticeably in your eyes, decreasing pressure and causing redness. 

There’s nothing dangerous about weed eyes. In fact, it’s only temporary, and marijuana can provide relief to glaucoma patients who experience high blood pressure in their eyes. For those without the illness, it’s simply a temporary effect that can quickly highlight to others that you’ve recently used cannabis.

There are other reasons why you might be experiencing red eyes besides the THC side effects, including smoke allergies. You can tell the difference if you get dry, red, and itchy eyes around campfires, incense, or cigarette smoke. In that case, it’s worth visiting your eye doctor to check for ways to alleviate discomfort.

While it’s a normal and safe side effect, marijuana eyes aren’t always convenient. If you need to be in public after consuming a cannabis product, here are some ways to prevent and treat cannabis-related redness in your eyes. 

Tips for Hiding Weed Eyes

Whether you’re just not comfortable with weed eyes, you’re navigating a social situation, or you prefer to keep your eyes clear, the following tips will help mask the signs of cannabis use. Though you may not be able to look 100% back to normal, these tips can definitely help. 

Let’s start by looking at some ways to prevent weed eyes.

Before Marijuana Use

The first thing you can do to hide redness in your eyes comes before you consume any cannabis products. 

Lower THC Consumption

High CBD (cannabidiol)/ low THC strains will likely give you a reduced red-eye effect, but it will also come at the cost of a lot of the THC effects, like increased hunger and euphoria. CBD will still offer you a good night’s sleep and help with anxiety, so it depends on what you’re looking for. 

Another way to reduce THC consumption is to microdose your current strain. Talk to your physician and figure out the best way to get relief from your medical marijuana while still lowering THC.

Opt for a Smoke-Free Product

If your red eyes are mainly related to smoke, reduce the effect by avoiding inhaling cannabis. Use edibles or tinctures, for example, or look for other ways to consume marijuana

After Marijuana Use

Redness after cannabis use is temporary, but if you need to treat it, here are some ways to get your eyes back to white.

Use Eyedrops 

This tip is popular for a reason. Buy yourself some Visine or other eye drops and keep them in your bag or pocket for use after consumption. Not only will it help with redness, it will also relieve some of the dryness you feel after consuming THC.

Wait for the Symptoms To Reduce

As previously mentioned, the redness caused by marijuana is temporary, so if you have the time to wait until your eyes get back to normal, you can do that to avoid awkward social interactions or judgment from others people. 

The downside of this method is you may be waiting three to four hours depending on your reaction to the strain you use. It can help to familiarize yourself with your strain and dose, learn how your body reacts, and determine when you can expect to have normal eyes again.

Consume Caffeine

A lesser-known option is to consume caffeine. Whether from coffee, tea, soda, or an energy drink, caffeine will constrict your blood vessels and help with the redness in your eyes.


Another two-in-one solution is hydrating. Besides the general benefits of hydrating, which include temperature regulation, joint lubrication, toxin release, and more, hydrating can also flush the system of THC, combat cotton mouth, and help with your red eyes.

Apply Cold Compresses or Tea Bags

Applying cold compresses to the eyes gets to the source of the problem by constricting the blood vessels. Use a washcloth, ice pack, or something hygienic you have in the freezer and apply. You can use a paper towel or something to keep the cold from burning your skin while still getting the benefits.

You can use anti-inflammatory teas like chamomile, rooibos, or green teas as compresses for marijuana eyes. Wet the tea bags and place them on your eyes for several minutes to see a reduction in the red-eye effect.

Find a Strain for Your Needs in Florida

Red eyes are an unfortunately stigmatized side effect of marijuana use, but you don’t have to be the glossy-eyed, squinty person at your next social outing. You’ve learned that THC is what causes the effect and that unless you’re experiencing allergies, switching consumption methods probably won’t make a huge difference. However, you also now know several ways to prevent and treat marijuana eyes to make your consumption less evident to those around you. 

Ready to find a strain for your needs? Check out VidaCann, learn about our strains, and find the right product.

Download App

Select Your App Store

Are You Over 18 Years Old?

Also, Sign Up For Exclusive Updates And Offers.

Choose Location